NJ High School Team Honors Late Police Chief

Girls HS Basketball National Anthem Photo by Tom Soranno
Tom Sorrano

While many professional athletes have gotten things so very wrong in recent months, a high school team in New Jersey this week got things just right.

Before the opening tip Wednesday night, the girls’ basketball teams from Elizabeth and host Governor Livingston paused for a moment of silence. The players, coaches, and fans inside the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, school honored late Mountainside top cop Richard Osieja. Chief Osieja died days earlier from cancer.

Not only did Osieja serve and protect the community, but he also supported Governor Livingston hoops. All three of his daughters played varsity basketball for the Lady Highlanders. Appropriately, the team decided to dedicate the game on Wednesday to Osieja.

Courtney Osieja, a senior forward, opened up the scoring on the night dedicated to her dad. Her team went on to a big 66-33 victory, a special game that ended just the way Chief Osieja would have liked.

On the heels of misguided protests, anti-police hand gestures, and the wearing of disrespectful t-shirts by multi-millionaire athletes, a group of teenage girls went against the grain and honored a local police officer. Rutgers football, similarly got it right in their bowl game, wearing NYPD caps on the sideline to honor two officers gunned down in a cowardly ambush in the Big Apple.

With the latest victory Governor Livingston now stands 11-2 on the season. They look for more success as the season unfolds. No matter what happens the rest of the way, though, the Lady Highlanders have already shown themselves as champions.


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